The benefits of sward renewal

Topics: Poaceae, Grass, Pasture Pages: 3 (545 words) Published: December 18, 2013
The benefits of sward renewal
Philip Creighton1, Michael O’Donovan2 and Laurence Shalloo2 Grassland Science Research Department
Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre
Teagasc
1
Athenry and Moorepark2

Introduction
Grassland in Ireland including rough grazing accounts for over 90% of agricultural land use. Lolium perenne (Perennial ryegrass) is by far the most widely sown grass species accounting for over 95% of forage grass seed sold each year. It produces a dense sward, highly acceptable to livestock with the ability to produce high dry matter yields, especially in spring and autumn reducing the seasonality of production. Achieving good performance from grass is dependent on having high quality perennial ryegrass/clover swards. This paper will outline the important aspects of reseeding pasture, what’s happening at farm level, why and when reseeding should be completed, its benefits and costs.

What is happening at farm level?
A recent survey of a proportion of co-op suppliers from Kerry, Connaught Gold and Glanbia (Creighton et al., 2011) found a number of significant findings from a reseeding perspective, these are listed below. i.

ii.
iii.
iv.
v.

vi.
vii.
viii.
ix.
x.

Regular reseeding took place on 50% of participants farms, 25% reseed infrequently, 25% never reseed.
Of those reseeding, 50% of participants reseed 2-4ha/year, 20% 8.0
0
Soil K Index
1
2
3
4

Soil K ranges (mg/l)
0-50
51-100
101-150
> 150

K application rate (kg/ha)
110
75
50
30

Slurry is a good option to maintain nutrient status. With the increased cost of compounds (P and K) slurry should be used in reseeding, 1000 gallons of slurry at 7% DM is equivalent to 4kg N, 3kg P and 19.5kg K. At soil index 3, slurry (3000gals/ac) is sufficient to supply the P and K nutrients. Weed control

The best time to control docks and all other weeds is after reseeding. By using a post emergence spray seedling weeds can be destroyed before they properly...
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